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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The illustrious surname Sempster finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Sempster is a local type of surname and the Sempster family lived in the village of Somaister, in the county of Cornwall.

Sempster Early Origins



The surname Sempster was first found in Cornwall where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Old Port in Modbury, from very ancient times, some say long before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.

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Sempster Spelling Variations


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Sempster Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Somester, Somaster, Summaster, Sumaister, Sommester, Sommaster, Simister, Semister, Simester and many more.

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Sempster Early History


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Sempster Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sempster research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 164 and 1640 are included under the topic Early Sempster History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Sempster Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Sempster Early Notables (pre 1700)



More information is included under the topic Early Sempster Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Sempster: Willaim Simister to Virginia in 1659; and S. Sommester landed in America in 1750.

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Motto


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Motto



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quasi summus magister
Motto Translation: As though the highest master.


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Sempster Family Crest Products


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Sempster Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
    2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    6. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
    9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    11. ...

    The Sempster Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sempster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 18 October 2013 at 14:36.

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